Chapter Ten brings grim news to the Bragg family home. Dan Gunn has discovered two terrible issues facing Fort Repose: 1) a case of typhoid fever at the Sunsbury family, and 2)highwaymen preying on travelers on the River Road. Both Dan and Randy have differing opinions about which is the more urgent issue. Dan fears an epidemic break-out of typhoid fever which could wipe out a huge chunk of the population in the future; meanwhile Randy fears the here and now and the possibility of those highwaymen targeting more innocent families and travelers. Randy argues:
"All I can do about the typhoid is warn people, which you have done already and which I will do again. I can't shoot a germ. I'm concerned with the highwaymen right now, this minute. Next, they'll start raiding the houses (248).
Randy takes action and organizes a carefully thought out strike against the highwaymen. In the ambush, he also hopes to find Dan's missing doctor bag with its immunizations in it to address the doctor's concerns as well. Unfortunately, he does not find the bag, but the hanging in Marines Park sends a clear message to the remaining highwaymen.
Randy thinks of immediate danger to his family, and town. The Highway men are thus what he believes is a major problem. Dan, however, believes that the typhoid in the river is more alarming, and does not think of now, but later on.